title means nothing. impact is everything.
The idea for this post was literally a lightbulb moment. It also came from years of business experience working with some of the best of the best and the worst of the worst.
There I said it.
Yes, its true. Not all of the people I've worked for and/or reported to in the past have been great humans. At least not in business. AND they have the balls to call themselves leaders!
So many people get hung up on the title of their role. They assume that it means more power, a bigger salary, the opportunity to boss more people around, manage a bigger team, earn more accolades. You name it, "title" holds a lot of clout for some people.
Well, I'm here to say its BS and simply not true. Business Lesson #1: Don't get hung up on your title.
Through all my years in business and all the lessons I've learned, those I've come to greatly admire care less about what their formal title is and more about how they do their job and treat those around them, no matter what their seniority is.
Back in 1999, when I first started working after university, I worked in the mail room (yes, I seriously started out in the mail room). I then moved up and took on a role as a secretary and receptionist for a few years. From there, I eventually found my niche and love for marketing, took some night classes relevant to my new found calling and worked my way up from a coordinator to a director.
Somewhere along the way, I was lucky enough to have worked for some pretty phenomenal people who I credit to helping get me to where I am today. They surprised, delighted, enlightened, elevated, encouraged and pushed me to do the best job I could because they knew I had it in me. THOSE people were the ones who IMPACTED me the most. They are the memorable ones.
The ones who embody what I think great leaders have: empathy, courage, humility, integrity, focus and cooperation.
But the ride wasn't that silky smooth. I worked for some "leaders" with lofty titles and inflated pay cheques who couldn't manage a team if they tried. Between the crossfires, insults, belittling and ridiculous demands, they quickly lost the respect of those around them, in particular the ones who reported to them. And yes, most of the time they were amazing at their job. Sure they increased sales, won accounts, helped grow a company, but they did it with absolutely no integrity and if it meant bringing someone down to make it happen, they were more than happy to. The brilliant assholes if you will.
What have I learned through the course of my career, so far? That title really doesn't mean anything and how you impact your team means everything. It's an important lesson I've learned because I really thought achieving a bigger, more powerful title and status along the way was the only way to climb the proverbial corporate ladder.
Boy was I wrong.
What I realized was that I was able to achieve greater respect from my peers and more success as a businesswoman by simply showing up, doing my job well, encouraging & supporting others while taking each win and failure as an opportunity to grow.